Many of us do not realize
that improving concentration is actually a skill, which
may not come naturally and which we might have to learn
and then to practice constantly in order to perfect.
Although we are all able to concentrat or focus some
of the time, at other times we entertain too many different
thoughts and ideas so that our minds end up racing from
one thought or idea to another. This is when the term
“scatterbrain” comes to mind!
If we are going to concentrate successfully, we have
to have several factors in place. To make this happen:
o We need to make a personal commitment to put our
full effort into this task.
o We need to be enthusiastic about doing this task,
to show an interest and even enjoyment about seeing
o We need to have the knowledge to do this task so
that we can be confident that the task will be successful.
If we are anxious because we don’t know enough
to complete the task, this can impair our concentration.
o We need to be in a good emotional and physical state
to concentrate and complete task, making sure we feel
rested, relaxed and comfortable before we even start.
o We should not be distracted by other things when
concentrating on the task to be done.
o We need to be in comfortable surroundings without
too much noise, extreme temperatures or too many people
When we start to improve our concentration level,
we should not be over ambitious. Start with a few
minutes at a session and then gradually increase the
time span. The main barriers to our bid to improving
our concentration are the three intrusions of boredom,
anxiety and day-dreaming. Every time you find this
happening, tell your self to stop. It does not help
to try and put these thoughts out of the mind, you
just have to be firm and command yourself to stop.
Use the stop technique every time something happens
to interfere with your concentration. Focus on what
you have to concentrate and don’t allow yourself
to be distracted.
If you are a real worry-pot, then allow yourself
the luxury of a special time each day (and a limited
special time) when you can worry about everything
under the sun. If you find yourself starting to worry
during a period of concentration, remind yourself
that you can worry about that particular problem during
your special worry time and banish the problem until
So follow these tips to help you concentrate:
o A period of relaxation and enjoyment before starting
the time of concentration can be very helpful.
o Give yourself a manageable time in which to concentrate,
and then gradually increase this time span.
o Give yourself a break between concentration periods
with some light exercise, drinking water or popping
outside for some fresh air. Making phone calls or
checking emails would not be an appropriate break!
o Give yourself an incentive or a reward when you
have achieved and maintained a period of concentration.
You know yourself what you would consider a suitable
o Ensure that your environment is comfortable without
distractions – no phones, no TV on etc.
o Ensure that you are mentally and physically fresh
when starting a concentration task
o Ensure that the problem you are experiencing is
not one of concentration but rather a lack of understanding
of the task to be done.
o Avoid the use of stimulants to aid your concentration.
o What you put into your body affects the way you
concentrate. If you suffer from sleep deprivation,
use stimulants, or eat fatty unsuitable foods, these
can all impact on your concentration levels.
o Make a daily schedule – this helps to focus
the mind, holding it steadily on one thing at a time
and in the right order.
o It takes 30 days to make or break a habit –
so keep up the concentration habit on a daily basis
for at least 30 days and you will be well on your
way to better concentration.
Concentration has been defined as “the ability
to direct one’s thinking in whatever direction
one would intend”. You need organization but
more than anything, you need focus.